When I arrived in Canada on Saturday night/Sunday morning, I walked up to the Customs officer, handed her my Canadian passport and stood there. She said "Welcome home, what American city are you arriving from?" and I stood there and looked at her. For several minutes I said things like "Boston? No, Phila....no...oh, maybe Washington? I mean, I wasn't in Washington but I changed planes there. What airports are in Massachusetts? Was it Hartford?" We eventually checked my ticket stub. Hartford. (Which, for the record, I don't think actually is in Massachusetts.) The last bit of that leg of the tour were so big and so fast and there were so many knitters and they were all so cool and there was so much yarn (I can't tell you. So much yarn.) that writing a blog entry about it is formidable. I keep thinking of one of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite movies.
"Let me es'plain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up."
12:00 Cambridge. Linda and her kindly husband Jay (who was starting to look like he might be rethinking his affection for me by the end of it all) picked me up in Cambridge and trucked me to, um...(Hold on. I'll call Linda and find out where I was.) Wild & Wooly in Lexington MA.
This is a very nice store. (Big basement. Go to the basement.) I was shown nice things, interesting things (I may have bought a little of that Bearfoot I find so fetching) and I met this guy.
I think his name was Jim. He's the Noro guy. (I am ashamed to admit that my brain completely disregarded his name once I found out that he was the Noro rep. Apparently my brain only saves the really important information about people.) He goes travelling around with boxes and books and samples of the new Noro stuff and the new Noro colourways. I warned him not to accept my offer to help him carry the yarn to his car. As I post this, I guess I should have warned him to keep his car locked at red lights, since I've just shown a whole bunch of knitters what a man with a car-full of new Noro looks like.
From there, the sock went to a local historical landmark.
This is the minuteman statue who marks the spot (I believe...forgive this Canadian her sketchy knowledge of American history.) where the rebellion of 1776 started. (Yes. Everything I know about America I got from poems and that Schoolhouse Rock thing that was on all of the US channels. Any other Canadians have "I'm just a bill" drilled into their heads during The Flintstones?)
From here I was driven (again by Linda and the patient Jay) to the event at Classic Fibers of Grafton. The first thing I learn about this shop is that it is small. (This isn't usually a problem with yarn shops. In my experience, yarn shop owners have an almost supernatural ability to pack yarn into a shop.) At first, my self-esteem tells me this is no problem. No-one is probably coming anyway. Wrong again harlot-knitter.
I arrive and am ushered in through a side door to find a crush of knitters. There are knitters everywhere. Everywhere. They are hank to skein, needle to needle. They are shopping, talking, knitting, laughing...there are a lot of them. I can't even see them all they are packed in there so tight. I catch sight of Mamacate and Sandy in the back...a glimpse of Kat with a K's birch in progess drifts by, Claudia is on the floor in the front, Marcy beams at me from her corner, Laurie finds a spot somewhere, eaten up by the wave. Carole is somewhere back there, Kellee, Jackie, Maryse (I can see the top of her head) and it dawns on me that if I can't see them, then they can't see me...and wonder-Jay procures a stool for me to elevate my 5 foot self on to give the talk. Eileen, the very welcoming shop owner keeps smiling and being friendly and handing out cheese and crackers and saying that she wasn't warned (two points for not running away even though she looked sort of surprised.) I start wondering if the knitters even want me to talk. I wonder if they would rather that I just signed so they could Go. Sit. Down. I teeter up on the stool and ask them.
Talk. They say. Ok. I say.
(My apologies for the blurry pictures. Doing this from atop a stool when you are freaked out is harder than it looks.)
I talked. I answered questions. I did not (and this accomplishment is the one of which I am most proud) gesticulate wildly enough to knock myself off a stool into the sea of pointy knitters. (This prompted me to think that a mosh pit at a knitting event would never work.)
This is Paula. Paula had the coolest metal needle thingie. I was so impressed with it that she gave it to me. ( I tried to decline, but that Paula has conviction.) Check it out.
It's a metal tube with a slot that runs the length of it, and your needles slide in and the sock hangs out the bottom...
Then you put the cap on and bingo. Hermetically sealed sock-in-progress holder that keeps your work from coming off the needles in your purse, poking a hold in your juicebox, or impaling the side of your leg purse. Seriously cool. (I know you're going to ask. It came from Woolworks Ltd. at Jeremiah's Antiques. email is firstname.lastname@example.org) This could save socks. Possibly lives.
Our friend Monica, holding the travelling sock and modelling her Olympic project, Dyed, spun and knit in 16 days. (I am not worthy.)
Susan and her Olympic Aran. (What was she thinking?)
Amy, making an introduction between my sock and hers.
and a gift from my beloved Stitchy McYarnpants, a pop/beer can wallet, a promise of things to come (may the wool goddess guard us all) from her from her forthcoming and extremely exciting book. (I can't wait to see this one.)
I staggered to dinner afterwards and discovered a nest of bloggers in the wild....(Rumour has it that they partied on long after I had left...I faded sort of fast. Probably because I didn't have enough of whatever the obviously non-alcoholic beverages littering that table are.)
I was then carried away back to Linda's house where I collapsed face down on her guest bed (in my clothes) for eight solid hours to brace myself for WEBS. Which was incredible, which I will tell you about tomorrow and you can read about while I'm on a plane on my way to St. Louis.
I promise to never say there are too many chairs at an event again.
PS. Grenyrn (Who are you really?) won the sockyarn with this comment left on my mystery message to myself yesterday.
Hi Steph. Great to see you last weekend. Just following up on that question I asked you re that green striping sock yarn. Also please don’t tell my son about this as I’m making the socks as a surprise for him. Thanks for leaving me the message that you would check on it.
She totally sealed it with the fake email address. Email me your real name and address peaches...I'll put the sock yarn in the mail.
You guys all crack me up...and Rams? Pet? I'm spinning.